Monthly Archives: December 2019

The bad, the good, the crafty.

I’ll keep it simple – I had a really hard day at work yesterday. When I called my wife as I was leaving and she told me that she has this new job opportunity in the bag, I burst out crying. I didn’t know the crying was going to happen, but it did. I’m so happy for her; her job has been such an unnecessary stress for so long that it feels like a bright, shining rainbow coming into our lives.

That sounds super gay and I don’t even care. Stress over work seeps into the home and makes it less of a safe haven; less of a retreat from the outside world. Even though I had a miserable day, where thoughts of resigning were rattling around in my head, I just felt like this new job for my wife was a win for me, too. Something to look forward to. Something to celebrate. Someone has to win and my wife deserves that.

While I probably shouldn’t blog about my job as it isn’t exactly hard to find this site if you Google my name, I’m going to. Certainly I’m not going to go into full details about everything because for one, it’s a legal job that comes with strict rules about confidentiality, and, two, everyone has job-related issues at times. Nobody really cares to read or listen to it after a fashion.

With that being said, my biggest struggles here are unclear/changing procedures and proper chain of command, as well as the multitude of personalities that come with working in a bigger office. My reference to this being a “bigger office” is my perspective – the last firm I worked with had only 8 people, including me. To step into a place that, at the time of my hire, had 24 employees, was certainly a difference to me. Not even really needing to mention that I knew the other 7 people pretty well – now I had a whole new group to get to know.

So, regarding the various personalities, I’ve learned who is helpful and who is not. Who skates by, not producing very much, and who works their ass off. Who will (nicely) assist me when I need it, and who will (begrudgingly) assist with a passive-aggressive attitude. Who knows their shit inside and out and who doesn’t care to learn anything else. Who will take the time to teach me something I don’t know, indulging me with my questions so that I can understand things and become a better paralegal.

Yesterday was one of those days, man – I felt that I was scolded for doing my job for one matter by someone and then, later on, was met with a super unhelpful attitude by another. There’s always a fly in the soup. It would just be nice for the 8 hours we’re at work, people could just keep it together. Work isn’t real life – if you’re mad about your life, change it – but don’t be a dink to the people that want to collect a paycheck in as comfortable of an atmosphere as possible.

The other part is the changing (or lack of procedures), and the hoops I feel I have to jump through to get things done. I don’t see it as productive to involve 75 people for a relatively simple task, but a lot of what I do seems stopped by having to go up a figurative chain of command for an answer to something relatively easy. Having to do this makes the task overcomplicated and can be super wasteful of time, money, and patience. I’m a get shit done kind of person and feeling like I need permission for a lot of things is very frustrating. I hit unnecessary speed bumps every day and I’m just tired. It’s mid-week and I’m just tired.

With that being said, I’m going to stop talking about work and talk about things I’m working on at home because that makes me HAPPIER.

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These are the homemade toilet fizzies I talked about in this post! My first batch came out too soft because I added water too quickly. This second batch came out the perfect consistency and I was able to blend in my first batch with them so that nothing was wasted.  I didn’t have a silicone mold large enough so I hand-rolled them. That’s why they’re ugly (lol)! They work and smell heavenly. I’ll have to find myself some silicone soap molds to use in the future.

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I’m also working on this sage green aluminum can upcycle project! Tonight I’ll be able to flip the cans right side up and sponge on the top rims so they’re uniform and deal with the sharp edges inside. They didn’t seem very sharp but guess who cut their hand on one yesterday while painting?

I also have two more sets of coasters going, so I’ll be taking the next steps with those so that they can be done by the weekend!

I’ve been trying to get in at least a little bit of crafting every weekday in some way in order to keep these small projects moving. It gives me something to look forward to on work days and even small steps in the right direction are going in the right direction and are making a difference.

Today will be a better day than yesterday. I just need to keep my head down, focus on the things that matter, and let the work stuff brush off of me.

2018/2019 Comparison

Soon it’ll be time to burn my 2019 calendar book and start recording in my fresh, clean 2020 book. To say I’m looking forward to that is an understatement; 2019’s book has been bent and beat-up, having been dragged along in my purse all year. It has helped me so much, not only to keep me organized but to show me how much progress I’ve made.

I started my Etsy Shop about a year ago now and it was in January that I was like “Okay, I’m going to give Etsy a real try for this entire year!” In order for me to gain an understanding on how best to run a shop, I needed to break down my goals into smaller, attainable ones that I could feasibly accomplish [at least part of] in a month. I haven’t been consistent throughout the entire year because I got lost a few times. Between my mother’s diagnosis, my own feelings about that and other things – it’s not as if I had just Etsy to focus on. Either way, I was decently consistent with it.

My education of that site is still on-going and I think as long as I’m on it, it will always be. Big changes were implemented by Etsy this year and while none of them really affected me, I expect to encounter changes in the future that will. That is, if I do not start my own website this year. I have not fully decided on that.

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I’ve done a lot of reading into successful tagging for listings, how to read my stats, and how to cross-post listings on social media platforms effectively. It’s a continuing, on-going education. BUT here’s the thing: earlier this year, days would go by and my shop wouldn’t even get a single view without a fight. NOW, I am consistently getting a few views a day, even if I go days without posting links to my items on social media. It’s taken all year to build that and it’s not even like I’m getting a LOT of views nor making a lot of sales online. But it’s a persistent effort – a slow burn – that’s gotten me at least here.

Here doesn’t suck – here has items of mine in a local shop in Schenectady called the Schenectady Trading Company, where the past two months have been good for me, sales-wise and connection-wise with other local people and businesses. Here is with a solid Instagram community and Pinterest page. Here is with this blog, which just celebrated it’s year anniversary, that now has over 80 followers.  Here is with a possible collaboration of plant hangers with a dude who sells air plants, which is out of what I’m doing on Etsy with my glassware but is still valuable because they’re easy and fun for me to make.

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Be Weird. Be Kind. Be You. Click HERE for the listing for this set!

Here is feeling like I have a healthier balance between creating (without compromising my visions), writing, my physical and mental well-being, my social life – here is feeling like I’ve been working toward the “go deeper, not wider” advice that my boss gave to me in January of this year. It’s been a hard road because I want and like to do so many different things that it can be tough to focus. The calendar book has helped IMMENSELY with this, too. Here is being more conscious of choosing what events I will participate in and what could-be-opportunities I let slip by because my time and space are more valuable than money.

Instead of scattering myself so very thin on a regular basis, I’ve been much more aware of taking tasks on and eliminating things that I don’t need to be a part of. So, for example, along with Facebook’s deletion yesterday, I also deleted my Mercari shop, including the app on my phone, because it was just one more thing to check up on every morning that had stopped being a fruitful source of extra income. Why put forth any further energy into it? I can put that energy into something else I enjoy doing.

HERE is also a place where I deleted an extra Instagram account I wasn’t using and canceled my Best Fitness membership because I don’t make it there regularly anymore and I don’t care to try. As I was thinking of things yesterday, I realized that although I would pay a penalty, I’d rather do that and not have a gym membership and a Peloton bike and membership payment. In the long run, it’ll save me money. I can just use the bike and the classes it offers and be at home. It’s been working for me.

Here is a good place to be in 2019. I expect 2020’s year-end post to show even more strides in the right direction.

Reality Check.

I decided to delete my Facebook accounts this morning and not wait until the end of the month. Since my decision last week to do so, I’ve felt lighter. While I wasn’t spending a lot of time or energy on the site, making the announcement on my business and personal pages made me realize how little anyone cared.

My intention with that statement isn’t to sound whiney and pitiful; it’s to bring to light a point: we’re connecting but not really connecting. I don’t know how many friends I had on Facebook when I deactivated my personal account – perhaps 400? Out of those 400 a half-dozen people connected with me on Instagram, Pinterest, or by text because they wanted to stay in touch.

I didn’t feel I needed to update my page every day for the amusement of others, but I know many people do, consciously or impulsively. I know (knew?) quite a few people who would update numerous times a day, sharing every update to their life like it needed to be recorded for some sort of census. As if we were all waiting on the other side of our screens like – ‘I wonder if Susan got her house cleaned for her holiday party this weekend!’ 

Admittedly, I haven’t made it a point to be involved in daily posts in the past year or so. I don’t know how people keep up with everyone online, their families in person, their jobs, their hobbies, and their health, without sacrificing one or more of the above. I’ve gone through a season of my life that was heavily social media based and a lot of the real-life things happening around me escaped my attention when they really needed it. What’s the point of visiting with friends you haven’t seen in forever only to be on your phone, scrolling to see what someone else is doing? Betcha they aren’t doing anything as awesome as you are right in that moment.

A lot of time is taken up by providing updates to people who wouldn’t pick up the phone to call to see how you’re doing. That’s not the main reason I decided to leave the website, but it’s a small part of the big picture. I mean, why would I spend the time catering to apathetic strangers online when I know my dad would love to talk to me over the phone and my time would be better spent doing that? If you died, who would show up at your funeral? Your close friends and family, with whom you’ve cultivated meaningful relationships with or Karen from your spin class, who only likes your gym check-ins?

I’m all set.

 

Unpublished Drafts & Forecast for 2020

Wednesday was a shitty, shitty day – 90% of it being allllll me, which makes it even worse. There’s 24-48 hours every month where I’m foaming at the mouth and well, there ya go. I wrote a blog that day but didn’t finish it, nor publish it. Why? Because when I’m in that mode I have nothing good to say. Everything is amplified and while I know this about myself, to a reader, you’d think I went off the deep end only to return the next day perfectly fine.

I don’t always publish everything I write because it isn’t always productive.

Goodbye

I don’t subscribe to the “New Year – New Me” bullshit. So I expect next year to be much of the same that this year was with everything, except I will not have a Facebook any longer for personal or professional use. I will still remain on Pinterest and Instagram (here’s my non-business one, too), and, of course, on Etsy (until I get my ass in gear and create my own website).

I want to cut back on my social media-ness and focus on the platforms I enjoy using. Maybe that’s my general forecast for 2020 – why do shit I don’t like? Why take things I don’t need into a brand new decade?

Another thing I’d like to leave behind is my random spending habits. Although I started reigning in my spending this month (actually going as far as deeming it “no spend” in my calendar book as my goal), I’d like to take that mindset into the new year with me. I had a big, big BIG November, resulting in an equally BIG credit card bill. While it’s all being paid off, quite a bit of the purchases were impulsive and all that did was take me a bit further from the goal of renovating the downstairs bathroom.

I guess I want things to be simpler. Wish –> Plan –> Achieve Goal. The end.

Instead of… Wish –> Plan –> Get Distracted –> Side Quest –> Wish –> Re-think Plan –> Stress –> Achieve Nothing.

I don’t have a lot planned for this weekend coming up but I’m looking forward to it, nonetheless. Tomorrow morning I will be heading out to my hometown for a craft fair with my mom and sister. I’m pretty excited about that because the past two years I participated in this same show but this year I decided not to. It’ll be my first year where I can just go and browse and enjoy it as a visitor with my family, not as a vendor.

I don’t know how long that day will be but I hope to visit the Schenectady Trading Company that evening for an art show to support a local artist and…then…Sunday will be all for me. I want to make these Zero Waste Toilet Fizzies for no other reason than I enjoy making my own household cleaners and trying different things.  A co-worker lent me a small silicone ice cube tray that is in the shape of pineapples. They’re super cute and I hope this tutorial works (and I also hope that I can find citric acid somewhere local).

Uncomfortably uncomfortable.

On Tuesday of last week, I went back to BFiit at Best Fitness in Schenectady because I had told a couple of ladies I’d come back that day to take a class with them. One remembered that I promised to come and she and I were quasi-workout buds that evening. I get in the zone when I exercise and I have limited awareness of those around me until I’m jolted “awake” by being spoken to.

I was super sore and sort of irked for a few days after the class. The soreness was all in my hamstrings and quads and it made going up and down the stairs, and kneeling or bending down very difficult. It also halted my cycling at home because my legs were donezo. So from Tuesday to Sunday I did not work out in a structured way, although I did take Adam for a chilly, approximately 3 mile walk on Friday. Just walking up minor inclines and declines was quite uncomfortable but it is better to move your body, even a little, when you’re sore to keep the blood flowing and muscles repairing. It just was disappointing that the workout took me out of commission for days, where my cycling/yoga routine can be done every day, if I wish to.

From being a trainer, I know I had to battle with people over what made or didn’t make a great workout. I think the answer to that question varies from person to person, but, for me, a great workout doesn’t make day-to-day activities following it excessively hard. It doesn’t mean extreme muscle soreness and limited mobility until things heal. A great workout to me doesn’t necessitate the recovery time of a minor surgery or a flu (lol). I want a workout where I can feel the fatigue and feel the progress happening BUT it doesn’t keep me from moving forward and continuing TO MOVE.

So, I really love the yoga and biking routine I have going and will stick with that until I feel I want to do something different. Also – on Thanksgiving – I was able to wear a pair of my skinny jeans quite comfortably! They aren’t 100% where I want them to be but they fit so much better. So what I’m doing is working and it isn’t causing me too much stress. Win/win.

I’ve felt uncomfortable in other ways lately though. It seems that I keep finding myself in situations or conversations I don’t want to be in and wish I could moon-walk out of. Or, flip down one of these bad boys:

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Photo from r/unnecessaryinventions

It’s like people – complete strangers, mainly – seem extra willing to share their personal information with me, whether I want to hear it or not.

So, I’ve felt extra uncomfortable with things. The mood in my household hasn’t been great between kids and wife. I think it has to be the typical holiday stress, coupled with job stress but sometimes being home isn’t as restorative as I’d like it to be. There’s always someone acting up with an attitude that disrupts the peace. I find myself holding my breath and feeling like I want to talk less because it seems safer than saying the wrong thing. Maybe it’s me. Maybe I just suck with people now – it is hard for me to balance 3 extra people’s moods sometimes.

I have been working on some projects – in between making bathroom tile coasters. This here is my latest set available in my Etsy Shop.

I just haven’t spent a ton of time worrying about creating things because I’ve been more focused on getting my Christmas gifts together and wrapped. Believe it or not, I’m done shopping and almost done wrapping. I don’t mean to brag, but this girl fully intends on enjoying the holiday season and the snow without having to worry about nabbing the “perfect gift” for someone last minute. If I go to the store, I want it to be leisurely. If there’s a free night, I want to go look at Christmas lights and take pretty pictures. I want to KICK SOME SERIOUS ASS at my winter goal of sleeping more and enjoying the snowfall with a good book. In fact, I am totally kickin’ ass with that goal already.